Historically, obstetrics and gynecology has been a medical/surgical specialty focusing on women’s health and reproductive concerns during the childbearing years. Newer responsibilities—for example, in primary care, gerontology, and genetics—require Ob-Gyns to draw upon a base of medical knowledge that traditionally was not considered germane to their practices. Ob-Gyns are increasingly providing more primary care services to their patients; consequently, the field has expanded considerably. The Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN) was created in 1990 as a vehicle for investigating issues pertinent to women’s health and to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology in the outpatient setting. This article summarizes the findings of CARN studies from 1995 to 2000, covering a range of topics related to women’s health across the life cycle, including, but not limited to perinatal care. Topics include nutrition, infectious disease, hormone replacement therapy, psychosocial issues, and genetic testing in obstetric and gynecologic practice. Each study produced a picture of current practice patterns and knowledge of the physicians surveyed. Findings on knowledge, attitudes, and practices varied widely. Overall, Ob-Gyns were knowledgeable and consistent in more traditional areas of practice. Conversely, inconsistencies were observed in newer areas.
Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians
Learning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader will be able to define what the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN) involves, describe how CARN obtains its data, and summarize some of the findings of CARN from the years 1995 to 2000.
*Research Associates and ‡Director, Department of Research, †Vice President of Education, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC
Reprint requests to: Jay Schulkin, PhD, Research Department, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, P.O. Box 96920, 409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20090-6920. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authors have disclosed no significant financial or other relationship with any commercial entity.